Saudi Arabia, Switzerland to increase cooperation in financial sector

Swiss Vice President and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer (right), Chairman of SwissBanking Herbert J. Scheidt (left) and FDF State Secretary Joerg Gasser addressing a press conference on Sunday night in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 19 February 2018

Saudi Arabia, Switzerland to increase cooperation in financial sector

RIYADH: Switzerland has assured the Kingdom that the two countries can work closely together in the financial sector by holding regular meetings and that it will provide all necessary assistance to Saudi financial regulators and bankers.
The assurances were given by Ueli Maurer, Swiss vice president and finance minister, at a press briefing on Sunday night.
Maurer, who held wide-ranging talks with King Salman, said: “Switzerland and Saudi Arabia have agreed to hold a periodic financial dialogue at both political and technical levels. We have discussed Swiss training options for Saudi personnel working in the financial and banking sector.” He also referred to an agreement on double taxation signed by the two sides on Sunday.
The press briefing at the Swiss ambassador’s house was attended by Herbert J. Scheidt, chairman of SwissBanking (Swiss Bankers Association); Joerg Gasser, state secretary at the Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF); Peter Minder, FDF head of communications; and Heinrich Schellenberg, the Swiss ambassador.
The two-day visit of the delegation of Swiss bankers and regulators, as well as their intensive meetings with senior Saudi officials, are important bearing in mind the Kingdom’s high-profile corruption purge that has brought billions of dollars in settlements for the state.
Referring to his wide-ranging talks with Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri and Dr. Ahmed A. Al-Khulaifi, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), Maurer said: “The talks focused on frameworks for investments and financial services, as well as local opportunities for Swiss financial institutions.”
He said that Swiss financial institutions had a strong presence in several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia.
“Switzerland, which is the second largest financial market in Europe, currently has a total of SR26,600 billion ($7,093 billion) deposits in its banks, whose total number exceeds 261,” said SwissBanking Chairman Scheidt. He pointed out that “about half of these funds under management of the Swiss banks are from international clients.”
He added: “The Swiss banks can also play an advisory role as Saudi Arabia looks for better investment options within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030.”
According to the Swiss Bankers Association, the financial sector remains one of the key sectors of the Swiss economy, even in a challenging environment.


Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photo/Shutterstock
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage

JEDDAH: Splashes of pink are appearing in Saudi Arabia’s public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening.
A number of campaigns are underway this month to support this outreach — in malls, on the street and on billboards.
Pamphlets are being handed out, videos and interactive pictures are on display, there are fundraising activities such as hiking and biking, and medical students have been talking to shoppers and passers-by as part of efforts to increase people’s knowledge.
In Jeddah there was a Tai Chi class on the city’s waterfront, headed by Amatallah Bahaziq, that was attended by female members of Bliss Runners and Bolts. Another event was a bike ride organized by Jeddah Cyclists that included men and women.
A number of major cities across the Kingdom have also seen pop-up campaigns, with specialists ready to answer questions and play a proactive role in spreading proper knowledge and information about the disease, its detection and the chances of survival when detected early.

HIGHLIGHT

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.

The Zahra Breast Cancer Association is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading organizations dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. It has been supporting cancer patients and survivors and normalizing conversations about breast cancer among the community, with a renewed emphasis during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Given the circumstances (due to the pandemic) we focused our efforts to raise awareness to the importance of early detection virtually,” a representative from the association told Arab News. “With billboards and visuals spread across Saudi cities, we’re still following through with our campaign promise to raise awareness each year and send the message across: Early detection will save your life.”
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.